Monday, September 27, 2010

The extremists are killing us

I have a long-standing disagreement with folks who believe that success is a function of purifying one's belief set.  During the Cold War we were told that the argument between the folks who thought that everything should be run by a government committee and those who thought that everything should be left to individual self interest was so important, it was worth arming the two sides with nukes.

The overwhelming evidence indicates that the best answers are found between these two extremes.  Yes there are things that are best done with collective effort, and yes there are matters that should be left to the individual.  The best run societies are those that understand this and can strike a wise balance between individual needs and collective needs.

The problem with being moderate and reasonable on issues like this is that the purists literally want you killed--or at least silenced--see the nuke example above.  Yet MOST people understand the need for balance.  And a most striking example of how popular moderation is was published over the weekend when it was found that the overwhelming number of Americans wanted income distributions similar to "socialist" Sweden.
Study: Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden
By Daniel Tencer
Saturday, September 25th, 2010 -- 7:28 pm
92 percent prefer Swedish model to US model when given a choice
Americans generally underestimate the degree of income inequality in the United States, and if given a choice, would distribute wealth in a similar way to the social democracies of Scandinavia, a new study finds.
For decades, polls have shown that a plurality of Americans -- around 40 percent -- consider themselves conservative, while only around 20 percent self-identify as liberals. But a new study from two noted economists casts doubt on what values lie beneath those political labels.
According to research (PDF) carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden's model over that of the US.
What's more, the study's authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.
But the study also found that respondents preferred Sweden's model over a model of perfect income equality for everyone, "suggesting that Americans prefer some inequality to perfect equality, but not to the degree currently present in the United States," the authors state. more
And for comic relief, there was this piece on the sorts of jobs waiting for a Libertarian utopia.  They include plague corpse disposal and child coffin maker.
Top 10 Jobs in Libertarian Paradise 
by Troubadour  Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 12:59:03 AM CDT
Tired of Big Gubmint getting in the way of your entrepreneurial ambition? Ready to Go Galt and shrug all the welfare queens off your shoulders so you can have the riches you deserve? Well, I have some great news - there are many unique job opportunities to be had in a small government society that are simply not available in today's Communist America. In fact, there are so many that I can only discuss a handful of them here, but they're more than enough to refute the odious librul myth that people can't get by without public services. There is an entire world of opportunity for hard-working people in Libertarian Paradise. more
Damn! I detest extremists!

1 comment:

  1. Happiness of people is the real economy of a nation and all other things are traps.

    The mechanism that makes the people happy is called economics.

    GDP, Forex, Sensex and Inflation are not elements of economy, therefore they cannot measure the economy of a nation.

    NVSN Murthy, Scientist and a temporary visitor on earth.Email: